UPDATE : 2019.11.21 THU 09:30
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Pentagon downplays N. Korea military parade

The Pentagon on Thursday played down the significance of North Korea's military parade reportedly set for next week.

The communist regime is thought to be preparing for a large parade next Thursday, the day before the opening of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, to mark the anniversary of its army's foundation.

Asked if it could pose a threat to the United States, Pentagon chief spokesperson Dana White told reporters, "Well, North Korea often has parades."

She added, "We're very capable of countering any threat to the United States, its allies or its partners."

The U.S. is encouraged by the inter-Korean dialogue that has taken place since last month to arrange North Korea's participation in the Olympics, according to the spokeswoman.

"And we encourage it," she said. "The relationship between Seoul and Washington has never been closer, so we look forward to more progress."

The inter-Korean talks came after a more than two-year lull as tensions increased over North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

Seoul hopes the dialogue will create an opening for denuclearization negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang.

Kim Jung-mi  edt@koeapost.com

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